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Aimee, Jaguar and Sophie Scholl: Women on the German Home Front

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

Publication date21/11/2007
Host publicationRepicturing the Second World War: Representations in Film and Television
EditorsMichael Paris
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages11
ISBN (electronic)9780230592582
ISBN (print)9780230002579, 9781349280810
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This chapter focuses on Aimée & Jaguar (1999), a film adaptation of the best-selling book by Erica Fischer.1 Both the book and the film deal with the intimate relationship between Lilly Wust, a German wife and mother, and Felice Schragenheim, a young Jewish woman living illegally in Berlin during the final years of the Second World War. Aimée and Jaguar are the names the two women called themselves, respectively, in their intimate conversations and letters. In the film, they get to know each other after a chance encounter at a concert when it emerges that Lilly’s household help, Ilse Ploog, is also Felice’s lover and friend. Felice becomes a regular visitor at Lilly’s apartment and a surrogate parent to the four children. Lilly’s husband Günther, in the meantime, makes the occasional appearance when he is on leave from the front. Felice works for a newspaper and uses her position to leak secret documents to the international community. She only discloses her Jewish identity to Lilly later in the film when Lilly confronts her about her mysterious disappearances. The two women are able to remain together until Felice’s arrest. In the scene of the arrest, they return to the apartment from swimming at a local lake to find the Gestapo waiting for them. Felice manages to run out of the apartment but is dragged away after an abortive attempt by neighbours to hide her. The film has a narrative frame: at its beginning we see an older Lilly moving from the apartment to a home where she is reunited with Ilse, who, on recognising Lilly, recounts the events of the narrative past.